KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 23 – Former deputy prime minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi was today acquitted by the High Court on all 40 graft charges brought against him in the Foreign Visa System (VLN) case.
Justice Mohd Yazid Mustafa held that the prosecution had failed to prove a prima facie case against Ahmad Zahid and made the order for a discharge and acquittal here today.
The trial, which began on May 24 last year, saw the prosecution bringing in 18 witnesses before it closed its case.
The 18th witness was Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) investigating officer Mahendran Vrejenanw, with cross examination by deputy public prosecutor Datuk Raja Rozela Raja Toran and her legal team as well as Zahid’s lawyer Datuk Ahmad Zaidi Zainal.
Today’s prima facie determination on the case follows written submissions by both the prosecution and defence earlier in September. n against Zahid.
IIn legal context, the Latin phrase prima facie indicates a situation where this is enough evidence for a trial to proceed.
Zahid, 69, had stood trial for 33 charges of receiving the S$13.56 million (about RM42 million) bribes from Ultra Kirana Sdn Bhd (UKSB) as an inducement.
He was also alleged to have on another seven counts, as the then home minister, to have obtained for himself S$1,150,000, RM3 million, Swiss francs 15,000 and US$15,000 in cash from the same company in connection with his official work.
He was charged with committing all the offences at Seri Satria, Presint 16, Putrajaya, and Country Heights, Kajang, between October 2014 and March 2018.
From February 2013 to October 2019, UKSB operated visa facilitation services in China for Malaysia-bound travellers, following the inking of an agreement with the Malaysian Government in 2012 to provide such services.